First things first. The mod called Race Menu is a must. Not only will it expand your capabilities when it comes to creating a decent looking character but it will be the backbone of almost each and every mod included on this list. So let's begin making our Skyrim populated with chiseled big breasted (male and female) supermodels, shall we?
Also, don't forget about the power of ENB's when it comes to making your characters looking great. You can check them and other mods out in our comprehensive top 10 list:
Poor elves really took an appearance nosedive when it comes to the Elder Scrolls series. Although they are fairly distinct and unique in their own right, no one will exactly call them attractive in the way they are portrayed in other fantasy media. So as the mod author says: "If you wanted to play Skyrim with an elf without looking like a deformed alien" – this mod is for you.
If you aren't the one to fidget around with sliders trying to make your character looking like a human being – my racemenu and better male presets are your mods. They will bring a bunch of beautiful facial appearances, for each sex and race so you can finally fully enjoy your 200-hour playthrough without ever wearing a helmet.
If you want to add some more visual flair and personality to your characters then these two racemenu plugins are for you. They'll add dozens of colorable tattoo designs ranging from tribal, artistic, cute to completely badass. So tat yourself and make a statement.
Vanilla Skyrim has a shamefully low amount of options when it comes to character hair. This is extremely disappointing especially when you consider that it's probably the most important appearance feature that will truly define the way your character looks. In this regard, the amazing Apachiiskyhair and KS Hairdos are an absolute must have mods that will bring hundreds of awesome looking and diverse hair options to both male and female characters.
These two mods will basically cover all other facial hair to bring some personality to your characters. Not only do these mods bring high-quality textures in the mix, but they offer so many diverse options, from unkempt brows and beards to highly stylized ones that will make your character ready for a walk on a fashion show stage.
Northborn scars changes, adds, or outright replace the faded scars of vanilla Skyrim with all new warrior markings. From light facial scratches to burn scars and even a full-on Glasgow smile with which you can visually provide your characters with a glorious (or tragic) backstory. Then there's freckle mania 2 and it's all about them freckles. Need I say more?
These mods have everything you need when it comes to eye textures. Eyes of beauty will bring you dozens of eye appearances with insanely detailed, almost photorealistic textures. Glowing eyes and eyes of aber, on the other hand, will enable you to roleplay all sorts of awesomely powerful characters. These make vanilla Vampire lord glow seem like it doesn't glow at all.
Caliente's Beautiful Bodies, Dimonized UNP, SkySight Skins & TEMPERED SKINS FOR MALES AND FEMALES
Now we have what are arguably the most important character appearance mods – the ones for characters face and bodies. Many of the mods above will probably require you to have either one of these in order to achieve the desired look. You won't install all of them but the one you feel suits what you want to achieve with the visuals.
CBB features a more curvaceous look, UNP is a bit slimmer but still extremely clean, Skysight makes males look awesome and tempered skins offer a bit more lore friendly textures all the way up to 4k resolution.
If you opt to install one of these two mods, you won't need all the above as they are standalone mods that will cover most visual aspects of character appearance. This makes them the most comprehensive character appearance mods that are insanely easy to use, install and manage. It brings overhauled character textures, with more body types, hairs, warpaints, and complexions. It also improves the textures of beast races, facial morphology and overhauls 30 companions to look really attractive.
They are also a bit on the lore friendly side so you won't get those super clean supermodel type characters but a fairly realistic representation of Skyrim's populace.